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Adopt multi-pronged approach to tackle Covid 2.0

Adopt multi-pronged approach to tackle Covid 2.0
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Adopt multi-pronged approach to tackle Covid 2.0

Highlights

Why the intensity of second wave could not be controlled? Who has failed, the people or the central and State governments? This is the issue that has...

Why the intensity of second wave could not be controlled? Who has failed, the people or the central and State governments? This is the issue that has raked up a massive debate. While the Centre has been saying, "Don't fall for opposition propaganda."

It claimed that ever since the first wave hit the country, it had been able to provide 2463 Covid testing centres. Prior to that there was only one centre.

In last one year, it has provided facilities for production of 0 to 7 crore Covishield and one crore Covaxin vaccines, both made in India, made India second largest producer of PPE kits, created manufacturing capacity of Remdesivir from 0 to 2.06 lakh vials a day, had set up 2048 hospitals for Covid treatment, to meet scarcity of oxygen created green corridor for smooth movement, roped in IAF for faster movement and so on. India is being ruled by Yashasvi PM, they claim.

The Opposition has its own argument against it and say that the PM became Yashasvi for different reasons. Well let's keep politics aside.

It would have been more appropriate if the Centre while listing out its claim of how it created the medical infrastructure had accepted that the political executive at Centre and in states erred in their judgement and ignored early warning of possible spike of cases.

Here the media too needs to be blamed since the kind of publicity they had given to what the Centre had claimed regarding creating medical infrastructure, did not adequately highlight the impending threat and the failure of governments to take timely action.

The Centre and State governments went on to claim that they have created excellent medical infrastructure but the other side never got reflected. Well there is a reason for the media to have blinked at the omissions and commissions.

Truth is always bitter and the political executive whether it be at national level or state level have become too touchy and is not willing to take any criticism in a positive manner. The some have been won over most of the media is scared the way cases are booked against them. Hence the media feels adopt middle path and survive.

While ministers and officials reel out statistics as to how their government is number one in everything, the ground realities are scary. This is the situation across the country including the two Telugu states Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Statistics reeled out by ministers and officials can be interesting to make a point during debate but cannot hide the reality. I remember, when I was in University my professor in Statistics used to say statistics is subjective, you can interpret as you like. (Of course he used different word which I cannot mention here).

I also remember my moral science teacher in school telling students, "Never say you are number one because that closes the door for improvement and you will become headstrong". How true they were I now feel.

What matters is ground reality which governments don't want to accept though they know about it. It is so because they have failed in heeding to early warnings and gearing up to meet the challenge called second wave.

The positive aspect now, at least in Telangana is that the government says they are now taking advance measures to see that third wave does not cause much damage. Let's pray and hope they will take some serious measures and succeed.

During the second wave, both Centre and states woke up after people started gasping for oxygen and Remdesivir injections which are still not easily available and are being sold in black market at exorbitant prices.

The unilateral decisions by State governments has resulted in serious problems for the patients. For example, Telangana government has decided to ban entry of Covid patients coming from neighboring Andhra Pradesh. This despite the High Court objecting.

Their reason was the medical hub of country cannot take any more pressure. Beds are full. Well the flip side of this decision was that TS government did not consult the AP government before imposing restrictions nor did AP government protest so far.

Only from Friday, politicians in Andhra Pradesh started talking that Hyderabad is a common capital till 2024 and hence TS police cannot stop people going to Hyderabad. It is surprising that suddenly they remembered that Hyderabad is common capital.

Well here too there is an element of politics. Blame the previous government and former Chief Minister for showing undue haste to shift capital from Hyderabad to Amaravati. No doubt they are right but is it not a fact that it was the present government which had surrendered all buildings and gave up the right of the state on common capital?

Instead of such statements, it would have been better if government to government talks were there to ease the situation. But that did not happen, and Telangana High Court had to cancel the circular issued by TS government banning entry of ambulances at check posts at TS borders.

Shortages in medical infrastructure is localised experts in Telangana say.

There are 116 government hospitals across the State available to treat Covid 19 patients, as well as five dedicated Covid hospitals in Hyderabad. During the first wave, there were 240 private hospitals to provide treatment to positive patients.

Now, with the second wave raging, the government has permitted 1,938 hospitals, including those with up to 10 beds, to treat patients across the state. These additional private hospitals bring a total of 5,000 oxygen beds, 1,500 ICU beds and another 1,500 beds with ventilator support to the support system.

Again statistics give lot of confidence but the fact is people are still gasping. The doctors and nurses and paramedical staff deserve a big salute for the great work they are doing and struggling to save the patients.

But it's time the authorities focus more to ensure that necessary measures are taken to provide necessary equipment and beds for the medical fraternity and on the administrative side, they should be tough in enforcing the health protocols.

They need to hammer into the minds of the people that they need to take care of themselves first by wearing masks and following social distancing, forget about politics for next six months and concentrate on safety of the people.

One should not forget that this time around, the virus has gotten stronger and become more infectious. This is the opinion of the doctors and medical experts. It is getting difficult to detect through RTR-PCR and requires HRCT to confirm the presence of Covid-19.

On the administrative side, the government needs to ensure that its dashboard is not static and gives real time information about hospital beds and number of active cases, new cases and deaths. No point hiding the facts.

Public also need to take full blame. Their carelessness had led to new virus' mutations making it difficult to contain the spread of the second major wave of Covid-19 cases. Let's stop comparing with other States. If they are in worst condition let them be. Let's focus on our State and protect our people. Then there will no need for the government to pat its own back. People will praise the government to skies and will stand by it.

The pandemic has thrown up an opportunity for a multi-pronged approach for its containment and mitigation where involving the IT sector and other non-healthcare sector can play a vital role. The behaviour of the virus is directly proportional to the actions of people, the executive and the administration.

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